Fidelity expands low-cost index mutual fund lineup

BOSTON (AP) ? Fidelity Investments is opening five stock mutual funds that seek to keep investor costs low by passively tracking stock indexes, rather than relying on professional managers to pick investments.

Fidelity’s announcement on Monday expands its lineup of Spartan index funds to 13, including stock funds and bond funds. Those funds held more than $80 billion in assets as of Aug. 31.

The new funds will charge lower expenses than the Boston company’s actively managed funds. Actively managed funds typically charge higher expenses because of the costs from having pros select investments.

The new funds are:

? Spartan Emerging Markets Index, which seeks to track emerging markets stocks in the FTSE Emerging Index.

? Spartan Global ex U.S. Index, tracking foreign developed and emerging markets via the MSCI All Country World Index, excluding U.S. stocks.

? Spartan Mid Cap Index, tracking stocks of medium-sized U.S. companies, as represented by the Russell Midcap Index.

? Spartan Real Estate Index, tracking stocks of real estate investment trusts as well as other real estate investments, via the Dow Jones U.S. Select Real Estate Securities Index.

? Spartan Small Cap Index, tracking stocks of smaller U.S. companies, as represented by the Russell 2000 Index.

The least expensive of the new funds charges an expense ratio of 0.06 percent for institutional clients such as employer-sponsored retirement plans, or $6 a year for every $10,000 invested. The highest expense ratio among the new funds is 0.33 percent, for the investor share class of Spartan Emerging Markets Index, requiring a minimum investment of $10,000.

Those fees are below industry averages, and in line with comparable index funds at Fidelity’s larger rival, Vanguard, which introduced index funds in the mid-1970s.

Fidelity on Monday also said it is adding low-cost institutional share classes to three of its existing Spartan index funds: Spartan Total Market Index, Spartan Extended Market Index, and Spartan International Index. Those share classes require minimum investments ranging from $5 million to $100 million, with expenses ranging from 0.045 percent to 0.07 percent. Those share classes are limited to employer-sponsored retirement plans for which Fidelity’s workplace services unit performs recordkeeping.